With today’s post, we share a peek into our Spark Playtime of the day. Spark Play is an integral part of our learners’ time in their space. They choose from small loose parts play, large parts (think- large planks, blocks, ladders), sandpit area, other in-built structures like the stumps, swinging ropes, tunnels, hills, and the orchard. Each area comes with a particular focus in mind in that they are more and less conducive to different types of play. We often think of that in reference to play that encourages ‘feet on the floor’ vs ‘feet off the floor’, gross motor vs fine motor movement, etc. Today we highlight – the Sand Pit Area!
Since the introduction of the sandpit this year, it has definitely been a place of action and learning. Guides are strategically placing themselves outside the sandpit to hear and note the great growth in communication that happens while learners communicate critical thoughts. The water from the pipe runs down on the hill course until it reaches the sandpit, allowing gravity to create another fascinating object for the children’s observations… On most days, on average, there are around four-five parallel plays going on in the sandpit area, with four-five different groups. Some days the members within the groups change and some groups have had the same members for weeks. We’ve not only witnessed some interesting decision-making, conversations, and conflicts but also, so much of creative-thinking and strategizing. Learners have banded together in various ways for their creations; From building dams and digging tunnels to making canals for the gushing water. They make sand-castles and dig until they reach the bottom of the pit. They are experimenting with using the white strips you see below as pipes and making courses for the water. Their experiences have ranged from wanting the same equipment to not wanting water in their section, to, also wanting water in their section! They bring in the math and the science, engineering, and technology, language, and love all at once, all so powerfully through hands-on learning. They make sure to fill this daily experience with some heated moments, heartbreaks, tough conversations, and buckets and buckets of fun. This is why, they flock there again the next day, and the next, and every day, without a doubt.
With grateful hearts,